Thousands flock to first High Times Cannabis Cup in Michigan since recreational marijuana legalized
High Times Cannabis Cup returns to Flint area
VIENNA TWP, MI – The line of attendees to get into the Auto City Speedway in Vienna Township wounds its way down a long dirt driveway and along North Saginaw Road, but there were no races taking place.
Thousands filled the infield area and stands inside the facility, but there was no burning rubber being laid down on the track.
Instead, the smell of cannabis filled the air at the first High Times Cannabis Cup in Michigan after voters in November 2018 approved legalizing the use of recreational marijuana in the state for adults 21 and over.
The two-day event spanning Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9 drew in thousands of attendees that listened to musical acts including Busta Rhymes and Too Short, took in a variety of demonstrations, and perused dozens of vendors selling marijuana in all different forms – from edibles to pre-rolled joints, rosin, plants, and seeds.
Among those selling their wares included Mike Lansford, who sat underneath a rain-covered tent on Sunday afternoon at the Top Notch Terps booth.
He was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1996 and turned to marijuana to help with the complications of the medical issue that impacts his immune system.
“That’s when I got into it,” said Lansford, of using marijuana. “It pretty much saves my life. It helps me eat, helps me sleep, helps me just all around, better motivation to do things.”
His business centers are solventless hash rosin.
“I don’t really like smoking the flower that much. I don’t really like rolling joints. “I don’t smoke cigarettes or anything like that,” said Lansford. “I make my flower into hash rosin. It only takes just little teeny dabs…That’s all I have to do. I have to hit it once or twice and I’m good…I can do that a couple times a day and it keeps me in line.”
The Millington resident saw no reason that marijuana shouldn’t be legal, even prior to the vote.
“I was hoping it would (be approved),” Lansford said. “It’s a plant. It saves lives.”
He theorized the sitgma around marijuana usage come from days gone by, with legalization inching forward state by state as officials are “figuring out ways to tax it and regulate it.”
“Why not? It’s what the people want,” said Lansford.
Rick Thompson, a board member of the Michigan chapter of NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Legalization), said the success of the Cannabis Cup event in Michigan is another indicator of how it was time for legalization in the state.
“I think a lot of the expectations that people have had for this industry are going to be woefully lacking,” he argued. “I see far more interest in this than anyone ever gave credit for.”
Thompson sees Michigan becoming a destination for others in the Midwest “whose states may be struggling with having legitimate cannabis laws” and those who’ve provided medical marijuana to patients moving into the recreational side.
Only Michigan medical marijuana business license holders can apply for recreational licenses to grow on a large scale, to operate provisioning centers and to process marijuana in the first two years under the new law. Retail sales of recreational marijuana is expected to begin in 2020.
An October 2018 analysis released by the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency estimates tax revenue from recreational marijuana could bring in up to $287.9 million in new tax revenue in 2023 — $105.6 million from sales tax and $182.3 million from excise tax.
Thousands flock to first High Times Cannabis Cup in Michigan since recreational marijuana legalized High Times Cannabis Cup returns to Flint area VIENNA TWP, MI – The line of attendees to get